Costs

Northern Ireland

In this case study on family law – custody of the children, Member States were asked to advise the suing party on litigation costs on litigation costs in order to consider the following situations: Case A – National situation: Two persons have lived together unmarried for a number of years. They have a three year old child when they separate. A court decision grants custody of the child to the mother and a right of access to the father. The mother sues to limit the father’s right of access. Case B – Transnational situation where you are a lawyer in Member State A: Two persons have lived together unmarried in a Member State (Member State B) for a number of years. They have a child together but separate immediately after the child’s birth. A court decision in Member State B gives the child’s custody to the mother with a right of access to the father. The mother and the child move to live in another Member State (Member State A) as authorised to do so by the Court decision and the father remains in Member State B. A few years later, the mother sues in Member State A to change the father’s right of access.

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Northern Ireland


Important Points to Note About the Information Provided

It should be noted that it is not possible to give definitive costs and the matters included below are indicative only.  Where possible actual fees have been included for certain aspects of the processes but these should be viewed as a guide only.   Fees often depend on the tier of court used and the steps involved in the individual case - FPC refers to Family Proceedings Court, and FCC refers to Family Care Centre. A full list of court fees charged can be found at the website of the Northern Ireland Court and Tribunals Service.

N/A is shown where the answer is Not Applicable and N/K is shown where the answer is Not Known.

Indicative costs in Northern Ireland

Indicative costs for court, appeals and alternative dispute resolution


Case Study

Court

Initial court fees

Transcription fees

Other fees

Case A

Applications to discharge an existing contact order

Family Proceedings Court – £50

Family Care Centre – £75

High Court £100

Fees are £0.78 pence per folio or CD audio recording, £25 per hour (if proceedings are recorded)

At the Family Proceedings Court, service of a summons is £10 or  for personal service £13

and

additional documents

£3 each

Case B

Register order in High Court – no fee

Depending on the legislation that the order was granted under, the application will either be treated as a new application or a variation of an existing order

Application in respect of contact order

Family Proceedings Court – £50

Family Care Centre – £75

High Court  – £100

Application to vary an  existing contact order

Family Proceedings Court – £37.50 pence

Family Care Centre – £57.50 pence

High Court  – £75

As above

At Family Proceedings Court  – service of a summons is £10 or for personal service £13

and

Additional documents

£3 each

 


Case Study

Appeals

ADR

Initial court fees

Transcription fees

Other fees

Is this option open for this type of case?

Costs

Case A

Appeal from Family Proceedings Court to Family Care Centre – £75

Appeal from Family Care Centre to High Court  –  £100

Appeal against the decision of a Master - £200

Appeal against the decision of a Judge - £500

Fees are £0.78 pence per folio or CD audio recording; £25 per hour (if proceedings are recorded)

N/A

Court Children’s Officer available at court

No fee charged

Otherwise, ADR would be through external agencies with a professional charge

Case B

Appeal from Family Proceedings Court to Family Care Centre – £75

Appeal from Family Care Centre to High Court  –  £100

Appeal against the decision of a Master - £200

Appeal against the decision of a Judge - £500

As above

N/A

Court Children’s Officer available at court

No fee charged

Otherwise, ADR would be through external agencies with a professional charge



Indicative costs for lawyer, bailiff and expert


Case Study

Lawyer

Bailiff

Expert

Is representation compulsory?

Average costs

Is representation compulsory?

Pre- judgement costs

Post – judgement costs

Is use compulsory?

Cost

Case A

No – but High Court cases are normally more complex

N/K

N/A

N/A

N/A

No

N/K

Case B

No – but High Court cases are normally more complex

N/K

N/A

N/A

N/A

No

N/K



Indicative costs for witness compensation, pledge or security and other relevant fees


Case

Study

Witness compensation

Pledge or security

Other fees

Are witnesses compensated?

Cost

Does this exist and when and how is it used?

Cost

Description

Cost

Case A

Costs (e.g. loss of earnings) allowed at judicial discretion or agreed between parties

N/K

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Case B

Costs (e.g. loss of earnings) allowed at judicial discretion or agreed between parties

N/K

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A



Indicative costs for legal aid and other reimbursement



Case

study

Legal Aid

When and under what conditions is it applicable?

When is support total?

Conditions?

Case A

The normal means and merits tests apply (see section on Legal Aid)

See left

See left

Case B

Legal aid is available only for proceedings that take place in Northern Ireland (see section on Legal Aid

See left

See left

 



Case

study

Reimbursement

Can the winning party obtain reimbursement of litigation costs?

If reimbursement is not total, what is the percentage in general?

What costs are never reimbursed?

Are there instances when legal aid should be reimbursed to the legal aid organisation?

Case A

Such costs would normally be included in any agreement between parties or as ordered by the judge

N/K

All costs have the potential to be included as part of a court order

Clients may be liable to pay a contribution, depending on their income and capital  (see Case Study 1A)

Case B

Such costs would normally be included in any agreement between parties or as ordered by the judge

N/K

All costs have the potential to be included as part of a court order

As above



Indicative costs for translation and interpretation


Case

study

Translation

When and under what conditions is it necessary?

Approximate cost?

Case A

If documents to be put before the court are not in English

The Current rate is £120 per 1000 words for every language or 12p per word.

 

Case B

If documents to be put before the court are not in English

The Current rate is £120 per 1000 words for every language or 12p per word.

 

 


Case

study

Interpretation

Other costs specific to cross – border disputes?

When and under what conditions is it necessary?

Approximate cost?

Description

Approximate cost?

Case A

If parties or witnesses do not speak or understand English

Minimum payment of £30.00 per hour.

Costs associated with service of documents

Depends on where to be served, acceptable methods of service in the other Member State and how many attempts required

Case B

If parties or witnesses do not speak or understand English

Minimum payment of £30.00 per hour.

Costs associated with service of documents

Depends on where to be served, acceptable methods of service in the other Member State and how many attempts required.

Last update: 08/11/2019

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